This Circular Economy Progress Report 2022 provides an update of the progress and transition towards a circular economy. It builds on the conclusions published by PBL in January 2021 in the Integral Circular Economy Report (ICER 2021). A number of indicators from the ICER monitoring framework have been updated, for this purpose. In addition, this progress report looks more closely at the possible role of the circular economy in tackling the various challenges within the human environment.
Update of certain indicators
PBL will publish a limited progress report in the years in-between ICER reports. This year, the progress report provides an update for a number of indicators. The update shows no changes in the relative magnitude of circular corporate activities, in terms of value added and employment, and this is also the case for the share in tax and subsidy schemes directed to circular initiatives. Most projects subsidised under these schemes concern recycling. The actions in the Circular Economy Implementation Programme 2019–2023 do show a slight shift towards higher level circularity strategies, such as rethink and reuse. This update has not led to many changes in the conclusions drawn in the ICER 2021, with respect to the progress made towards a circular economy in the Netherlands.
Societal issues and the role of the circular economy
Producing and consuming in a more circular way can make a relevant contribution to addressing various societal challenges, such as combating climate change, reducing pollution, halting biodiversity loss and limiting the risks to security of supply. Emissions to the environment and the use of natural resources, such as land and water, can be minimised by making radically more efficient use of natural resources, materials and products throughout production and consumption chains — from extraction to disposal. This progress report shows that, depending on the goal to be achieved, certain natural resources and materials are more relevant than others.